the republic logo

Romania: Ex-minister handed 5 years prison for overspending on concerts for youth


BUCHAREST, Romania — A former Romanian minister was sentenced Monday to five years in prison for abusing her position and overspending public money on concerts for young people.

Monica Iacob Ridzi, Romania's former sports and youth minister, was convicted last year. Prosecutors say Ridzi spent an estimated 3.12 million lei ($804,000) on concerts for young people between March and May 2009, paying inflated prices and illegally contracting private companies for goods and services. She is also accused with her assistant of trying to delete allegedly incriminating e-mails.

Ridzi, 37, resigned in 2009 over the case. An investigation began in 2011.

The High Court of Cassation and Justice on Monday also sentenced one of Ridzi's assistants to five years in prison for abusing her position. A businessman was handed a three-year sentence, and nine other people also received suspended sentences. The ruling was final.

Ridzi — an ally of former President Traian Basescu and his daughter Elena Basescu, a European Parliament lawmaker until 2014 — claims she is a victim of Romania's recent anti-corruption drive.

Basescu, who was president from 2004 until 2014 and headed the anti-corruption drive, called Ridzi one of "a young, wasted generation" on Monday. Speaking for the first time in a televised interview since he left office in December, Basescu said he planned to return to politics and public life.

Several high ranking officials, including ex-ministers and media owners, have been probed or imprisoned on corruption charges in the past few years.

Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!

Story copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Feedback, Corrections and Other Requests: AP welcomes feedback and comments from readers. Send an email to and it will be forwarded to the appropriate editor or reporter.

We also have more stories about:
(click the phrases to see a list)


Follow The Republic:

All content copyright ©2015 The Republic, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Privacy policy.